Sunday, January 10, 2016

Time For A Good House Cleaning In South Florida? Ready To Say "See Ya" To Debbie Wasserman Schultz?


In one of her typically dishonest campaign e-mails, this one just an hour ago, a panic-stricken Wasserman Schultz wrote: "Yes, it’s only January, but this race has already had its share of firsts-- and none of them are good. Last year was the earliest I’ve had an opponent file to run against me and the earliest I’ve had ads targeting me in my career. Republicans are trying to catch us off guard, and we can’t let them."

Republicans have never been Wasserman Schultz's concern. Her carefully-gerrymandered district has very few of them and no GOP candidate against her has ever reached even 40%. Her worry-- and that "first" she's talking about-- is a solid progressive primary opponent. Holding power-mongers like Wasserman Schultz accountable always comes down to primaries. Defeating her would shake up the Democratic establishment as powerfully as Dave Brat shook up the Republican establishment by beating Eric Cantor.

On Thursday, Florida law professor and progressive activist Tim Canova announced he would be running for the Broward/Miami-Dade congressional district, FL-23, currently occupied by Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the generally mistrusted and disliked chair of the DNC. On Friday Blue America announced why we were endorsing Canova and delineated some of the reasons why there is so much disdain in the progressive community for Wasserman Schultz. She's a member of the Wall Street-funded New Dem coalition but she often refers to herself as a "progressive." Last week Jodi Jacobson explained at RH Reality Check that the claim is more a part of "an effort to ally herself notionally with a growing political movement than a reflection of her actual politics, positions, or actions... You don’t get to call yourself a 'progressive' unless you walk the walk. And if anything, progressives, especially younger activists and voters, want change and accountability, not government leaders they perceive as engaged in favoritism, cronyism, and yes, complacency when it comes to corporate control of our democratic system. Wasserman Schultz’s own actions and statements seem to lay blame outside the nexus of power that she controls, rather than looking inward to how she may be contributing to the very problems she laments." The specifics of the case Jacobson lays out against Wasserman Schultz are solid and I recommend clicking the link above and reading the whole piece.

Meanwhile I want to go back to a post Charles Pierce did for Esquire last summer, wondering why Wasserman Schultz was still at the DNC. Better question would be why was she ever put there to begin with after her catastrophic stint as head of the DCCC's "Red to Blue" program which she ran so badly that she was fired after favoring 3 Republican incumbents over Democrats. She had so sullied the program that the DCCC was forced to change the name. Pierce wrote that "[d]espite her constant presence in the nation's Green Rooms, I'm damned if I can see what she's accomplished as a national chairperson. (Priebus has accomplished Staying The Hell Out Of The Way, which is something.) She's presided over a catastrophic midterm election cycle that produced the worst Congress in the recent history of the Republic. And now, on at least two occasions in the past year, DWS has gone out of her way to break with the president on important foreign policy initiatives. First, she took a dive on the opening the president made with Cuba, because she is from Florida and very frightened. And now, it appears she has decided to play shenanigans with the Iran nuclear deal, both as a congresscritter and, worse, as DNC chairperson... And this is not to mention the long history that DWS has with the Fanjul family, the premier sugar dynasty in Florida, or her longtime support from the private prison industry. I mean, seriously, what has this person done to benefit the Democratic party since she took the job in 2011?"

Wassermann Schultz was co-chair of the Florida 2008 Hillary campaign and she has blatantly used her position at the DNC to favor Hillary and disadvantage Bernie in ways both small and big. Obama should have fired her long ago-- or should never have hired her-- and now I suspect that the two petition drives launched last week by Roots Action and by CREDO will eventually blow over regardless of how many tens of thousands of Democrats sign them. (Last I looked Roots Action's had 31,016 signatures and CREDO's had 52,099.)

Last week, two of her closest cronies in corruption, Steve Israel and Rahm Emanuel both looked like spent forces. Israel announced that he would not run for reelection and Emanuel appears to be on the verge of being driven from office in Chicago. All good, but Wasserman Schultz still insists she's on track to be Speaker of the House. I'm not kidding. Gingrich, Boehner and Ryan haven't been bad enough? She could single-handedly do more to tarnish the Democratic Party brand than any Republican could ever hope to do. And that's still another reason to support Canova's campaign for the Florida seat.

It's not going to be easy, but it's not an impossible task either. The district isn't the same one she drew for herself when she was a state senator; it's much more diverse and far less likely to just go along with the powers-that-be. Canova is going to take her on over her voting record. Wassermann Schultz will, of course, be supported by the Wall Street banksters, by the Fanjul sugar empire, the alcoholic beverage industry and the private prison industry, etc. Since 2004 she's sucked up $12,419,505 for her campaigns, although she's never had a competitive race and twice didn't even have an opponent. And on top of that, she's raised another $2,650,428 for her leadership committee, money she uses exclusively to buy allies in Congress.

Canova is running a grassroots campaign and his ability to challenge Wasserman Schultz effectively is going to depend on individual donors. If you'd like to contribute to his campaign, you can do it on this Blue America ActBlue page. And... we've got our first matching donation offer of the new year: of the next $2,500 in contributions to Canova's race on this page. Our matcher explains:
Matching donations expresses only a small part of my excitement about Prof. Canova’s candidacy.

On policy, besides understanding and teaching a variety of public policy issues, Prof. Canova’s understanding of U.S. monetary policy and how it suffers from the structure and culture of the Federal Reserve, is very broad and deep. This once-arcane issue has, since 2008, hurt every American other than executives and shareholders of big banks, as Prof. Canova has explained clearly in his article here, which provides troubling answers to:
Why help Wall Street creditors and not Main Street debtors? Why purchase trillions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities from banks, but not help the actual homeowners who are upside down on their mortgages?
On politics, Prof. Canova’s candidacy will:

·         Educate, register and turn out more voters in the biggest electoral college swing state, which has the greatest influence over who wins the Presidential general election-- and over which Presidential candidates are perceived as more "electable"

·         Teach insiders that there is a cost for actions like Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s, in serving as the establishment’s most blatant killer of what remained of Howard Dean’s (successful!) 50 state strategy.

·         Help us replace DWS with a new DNC chair, who might steer its policies away from protecting Hillary (and others) from Progressive primary challengers.

Labels: , , , , ,


At 1:08 PM, Anonymous Raise More Hell said...

So glad to hear she has a challenger. I'm in the opposite corner of the country (NE Washington, working to unseat McMorris Rodgers), but I have been trying to turn support for her ouster at DNC (which will happen in any event after the national convention), to support to throw her out of Congress.

This is the racial and ethnic breakdown of her D +11 district according to Ballotpedia (they do not track Jewish voters):
Race 75.9% White, 11.5% Black, 3.5% Asian, 0.6% Native American
Ethnicity 38.1% Hispanic

According to the Berman Jewish Databank, "[j]ust 13 districts are home to 100,000 or more Jews: nine in New York and two apiece in California and Florida." FL-23 is one of the 13, with 106,000, 15.22%.

She wound up voting for the Iran deal, the Jewish vote is less monolithic every year, I agree that she is very vulnerable.

At 8:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Republicans would vote for a pro-choice candidate, she'd be first in line to switch.


Post a Comment

<< Home